Florida Is One of the Most Dangerous Places in America to Ride a Bike, Study Says
Ghost bike memorials, like this one to cyclist Christophe LeCanne in 2010, have become all too common in Miami.
Photo by C. Stiles
You might want to just stay in your SUV forever, Miami. Days after a study found that Florida cities dominated the list of America's deadliest for pedestrians (with the Magic City clocking in fourth place), a new report has been released on the most dangerous locales in the U.S. for cyclists.
Yep, the stats show that the Sunshine State is a terrifyingly deadly place for the two-wheeled set.
The new evidence comes via the League of American Bicyclists (LAB), which sought to augment spotty federal data on cycling deaths by compiling every fatality nationwide between February 2011 and February 2013.
Many states, including Florida, have no clear mandate to track bicycle deaths the way they do car fatalities, which means LAB had to rely largely on media reports. Still, using that information, the league was able to crunch some eye-opening data on the 628 cyclists killed in that period.
Among LAB's surprising findings are that rear-end crashes are routinely deadly for bikers, accounting for 40 percent of all fatal accidents; T-hit wrecks are the second-most fatal at just 10 percent.
But it's this chart that should open eyes in Florida. Unlike the rest of the study, the chart did rely on federal data and compared cyclist deaths to the average number of cycling commuters.
Via League of American Bicyclists
Florida's six fatalities per one million residents is almost double the next closest state, Arizona. And its 21.7 fatalities per 10,000 bike commuters dwarfs the second deadliest state on the list, Texas.
In a city that's seen its share of tragic deaths in the past several years -- including two horrific crashes on the Rickenbacker Causeway involving impaired drivers -- those numbers don't seem at all out of line.
If Sunshine State cyclists are looking for even a mild silver lining, LAB's latest "Bicycle Friendly" state rankings put Florida in the middle of the pack at number 28. Despite the high number of fatalities, the state gets points for cyclist and driver education programs and improving state policies.
Here's the full report:
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.